Forehead Acne: Causes and Treatments for Forehead Pimples

a man holding his phone on his forehead

Acne is one of those frustrating skin issues that many people experience. Some may get it only on their forehead, jawline, cheeks, or all over. 

Forehead acne can make you feel insecure since it seems more obvious front and center. Thankfully, there are ways to treat and prevent acne. Whether you have surface pimples or deep cystic acne, there is something you can do to clear it up. 

We are going to go over what causes forehead acne and what treatments are available. You will also find out how to prevent it from occurring and how to cover it if it does make an appearance. 

Why You Get Forehead Acne

Whenever your follicles get blocked up, it causes a breakout. It can become clogged from bacteria, fungus, oil, or sebum. These things will cause acne anywhere on the face, but some things can be making your forehead acne worse. 

Excess Oil Production 

One of the leading causes of forehead acne is the sebaceous glands producing too much oil. Your glands could be doing this because of hormones, heredity, or the environment. 

The right amount of oil will keep your skin hydrated and youthful-looking. Normal skin types have just enough oil to keep their skin soft without clogging any pores. People with oily skin have overactive sebum glands and it creates the perfect environment for acne-causing bacteria.

Hats, Headbands, and More 

If you wear hats, headbands, scarves, or anything pressed against your forehead, it could be causing breakouts. These clothing items can prevent your pores from clearing themselves out, which leads to acne. 

Sweating while wearing a hat or helmet can lead to acne on your forehead. The headgear traps the sweat and clogs your pores. Your hair products might also become trapped under your hat and irritate your skin. 

Wearing the same hat every day without cleaning it could also cause problems. The hat can have built-up dirt and oil on the area that touches your forehead, which is the perfect recipe for acne. Try to make sure you clean your headgear regularly to keep your forehead clear. 

How To Prevent Forehead Acne 

Bad news; it is usually next to impossible to prevent ever getting another forehead pimple again. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent them from occurring. These tips and techniques should make them a lot less frequent and much more manageable. 

Keep Hair Products Off 

As previously mentioned, your hair products making their way onto your forehead is less than ideal. Many hair products contain oil that you only want to touch your skin if you're trying to have acne on your hairline and forehead. 

When doing your hair, try to protect your skin by keeping it only where it's needed. Shield your forehead when spraying hairspray by holding your hand over it before spraying. If you do get hair products on your forehead, wash your forehead off or take a cotton pad and some cleanser and wipe it off. 

You also may want to look for non-comedogenic hair products. These products have less oil and are less likely to clog your pores. 

For those who have naturally oily hair, you may need to wash it more frequently. Allowing the oil to build up in your hair can transfer to your forehead and cause acne. 

Cleanse After Sweating 

If you just finished a great workout, it's time to wash your face. Cleansing the skin will remove any acne-causing bacteria. You also don't want to allow the dry sweat to sit on your forehead for too long. 

Another tip is to gently pat or wipe the sweat off with a clean towel while you're working out. 

No Picking 

When you have a breakout, it can feel incredibly tempting to squeeze and pick at your skin. However, when you pick, you increase the risk of adding more bacteria from your hands onto your skin. If you have a whitehead ready to come out and you can't stand to leave it alone, wash your hands thoroughly and gently apply pressure to clean out the pores. 

Keep in mind constantly picking and popping, even with clean hands, can lead to acne scars. The treatments to get rid of scarring can be pretty expensive, so save yourself money by not touching your forehead acne. 

How To Treat a Breakout 

When you are experiencing a forehead breakout, don't panic; there are ways to help heal your skin. There are many different treatments and products aimed at acne. 

Here are a few options to help you say goodbye to your forehead pimples. 

Over-the-Counter Treatments 

There are medications anyone can get that work great on minor breakouts. They come in gels, lotions, and creams and usually contain at least one of the following active ingredients

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Salicylic acid
  • Retinol
  • Resorcinol

Similar to most skincare, there's a trial and error period. You may have to try a few different treatments before finding the right active ingredient for fighting your acne. 

Remember that it takes several weeks of using a product consistently to tell if it's working. You may also experience mild skin irritation in the beginning as your skin adjusts to the product. If you have extreme irritation, stop using it and consult a dermatologist. 

Prescription Treatments 

For those who are not having any luck with over-the-counter treatments or have severe acne, prescription medication may be the way to go. 

A dermatologist will be able to pick a treatment option that is suited to your specific needs. There are topical and oral medications for acne, and you could be prescribed any of the following: 

  • Corticosteroids
  • Antimicrobials
  • Antibiotics
  • Retinoids
  • Combined contraceptives

These alone can help make a big difference, but you can also look into different facials and skin treatments in addition to the medication. 

How To Cover Acne 

While you're patiently waiting for your forehead acne to disappear, you can use makeup to cover your blemishes. The right cosmetics will make you forget it's even there when you look in the mirror. Let's go over how to give your forehead a smooth appearance. 

After you cleanse and moisturize your skin, apply a color-correcting concealer if your spots are especially red. A green concealer can cover any red underneath your normal foundation and concealer. HIDE products are highly pigmented, and most people won't need a color-corrector. 

Next, gently dab on your foundation with a damp makeup sponge. You want to start with a thin layer to avoid a cakey look. If you need extra coverage, reach for HIDE Premium Concealer

Apply small dots to your acne and use your sponge to blend it out. Make sure you're pressing the product into your skin and not rubbing it, since that will move it around and not conceal your acne. 

Once you feel like your forehead acne is covered, you're done! However, if you have oily skin or will be sweating, apply a thin layer of translucent powder to set your makeup. You can also use a setting spray to help lock everything in place. 

In Summary 

Forehead acne is a pesky skin issue many people deal with on a regular basis. There are many different reasons you could be breaking out. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent and treat your acne. 

You can buy many different medications that will help clear out your pores. You can also get prescription medication if you need something more potent. 

While healing your acne, you can still look like you have perfect skin by using HIDE products. They won't clog your pores and can cover up anything!



Physiology, Sebaceous Glands - StatPearls | NCBI

Acne - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Forehead acne and pimples: Causes, treatment, and prevention | Medical News Today